FanDuel NHL: Saturday Targets

FanDuel NHL: Saturday Targets

This article is part of our FanDuel NHL series.

SLATE PREVIEW

Varied start times for Saturday's 11 games means FanDuel have split up the contests. The early-only slate will feature the Devils at Penguins (12:30 p.m. EDT) and Avalanche at Blues (3 p.m.). And as usual, it's important to note matinee games tend to be weird because body clocks are thrown off.

The remaining nine games will be featured on the main slate, highlighted by two matchups having implications for the East and Central division leaders with the Capitals visiting the Islanders (7 p.m.) and only one point separating them and the Panthers trying to pull even with the Hurricanes in first (7 p.m.). The all-day slate will feature all 11 contests and all salaries quoted below are for that contest.

GOALIES

Devan Dubnyk, COL at STL ($8,700): Dubnyk's salary feels expensive for a goalie who's not the best and usually depends on a lot of goal support to win. The good news is his two victories with Colorado have come against the Blues (who continue to struggle); otherwise, he's 1-3-0 against them as a Shark. Allowing three goals – which is what he's averaging – negates the fantasy value of a win, so I'd exercise caution because there are other options today.

Robin Lehner, VGK at ANH ($8,600): This doesn't require much of an introduction because we know the Golden Knights are solid and the Ducks are terrible. Fun stat: Lehner has not lost to the Ducks in regulation since Feb. 9, 2017 when he allowed four goals on 43 (!) shots as a member of the Sabres, who finished 26th that season. Some things don't really change.

Casey DeSmith, PIT vs. NJ ($8,200): DeSmith is not the most reliable backup and the Devils have lost four straight to the Pens. Scoring goals against Pittsburgh has not been a problem and that goes against DeSmith, but Jersey have experienced trouble keeping their opponents off the scoresheet. So even if DeSmith wins, his numbers won't be pretty.

Jake Oettinger, DAL at DET ($7,500): Detroit's seven-goal outburst thanks to Jakub Vrana's four goals gives me pause, but the Red Wings will also be without Dylan Larkin for the rest of the season and I hardly think the normally stingy Stars' defense will have a repeat letdown. I like this value play as a bet on Oettinger and the team bouncing back after losing a game they shouldn't have, which also cost them to fall four points behind the Predators.

Cayden Primeau, MON at CGY ($7,400): The Flames are expected to start Louis Domingue, which means both goalies will be making their debuts this season. I like Primeau's upside more, although I feel uneasy about the Habs' current play. Domingue has a career .904 Sv% and the Habs should be able to generate enough offense to give Primeau a chance.

Braden Holtby, VAN vs. OTT ($7,200): It wouldn't be surprising to see the Canucks go back to Holtby after he beat the Leafs twice and took a break so Thatcher Demko could get in a game. Demko, who admitted COVID may have had an affect on his performance in a loss against the Sens, may be rested as the Canucks return to the hot hand. The Sens' speed and tenacity has been trouble for Vancouver this season, but Holtby should – at the very least – be able to put in a strong performance with plenty of saves.

VALUE PLAYS

Sam Bennett, FLA vs. CAR ($3,700): The Canes represent a tough matchup, which would explain why Bennett didn't score a point and managed just one shot in 21 minutes of play on Thursday. Still, the opportunities are there and not many second-line centers come at such a bargain salary.

Filip Zadina, DET vs. DAL ($3,900): Part of Zadina's success will also depend on how well Vrana is shooting the puck. But without Larkin, much of the Wings' offense will have to flow through Zadina. The pair will play on both the top line and lead power play.  

Chandler Stephenson, VGK at ANH ($4,400): Stephenson can actually generate a lot of chances with his ability to gain the zone, although it doesn't always show up on the scoresheet. Playing against an easier opponent should make it easier for him to score points like the two he produced Mar. 16 against these same Ducks.

LINE STACKS

Penguins vs. Devils

Sidney Crosby (C - $8,400), Jake Guentzel (W - $7,700), Bryan Rust (W - $6,400)

This trio combined for 11 points in two games against the Devils, including a goal and an assist apiece for Crosby and Rust in their last encounter. The Devils are allowing an average of 4.67 per game with 60.7 percent efficiency on the PK in April.

Avalanche at Blues

Nathan MacKinnon (C - $9,000), Gabriel Landeskog (W - $6,800), Andre Burakovsky (W - $4,400)

Amazing what you can do playing with MacKinnon. Burakovsky scored two goals taking Mikko Rantanen's usual spot on the top line, which was only the second time this season he's scored multiple goals in the same appearance. As a bonus, he also helps lower the cost of this line stack.

Maple Leafs at Jets

Auston Matthews (C – $8,800), Mitch Marner (W - $7,600), Nick Foligno (W - $4,200)

Foligno feels like a third wheel, but he did collect an assist last game and helps open more ice for Matthews and Marner, who combined for six points Thursday. Connor Hellebuyck is usually elite, but the Leafs' offense has been one of the best in the league all season and Foligno helps keep the salary outlay relatively low.

Stars at Red Wings

Roope Hintz (C - $6,400), Jason Robertson (W - $4,900), Joe Pavelski (W - $7,400)

How Robertson keeps being so undervalued is a mystery, but this is an excellent stack with Hintz in the lineup. Even in a lopsided loss last time, this line managed to generate plenty of shots and each came away with a point.

Senators at Canucks

Josh Norris (C - $4,500), Drake Batherson (W - $4,600), Brady Tkachuk (W - $6,300)

Both Norris (four points in six games) and Batherson (three points) have fared well against the Canucks, who have experienced issues containing their speed. The Sens lean on them a lot on offense, as shown in them starting in the offensive zone over three-quarters of the time last outing.  

DEFENSEMEN

Shea Theodore, VGK at ANH ($6,700): Theodore has posted three two-point efforts across his past six games, including two straight against the Sharks. He remains a really good offensive defenseman and the Ducks are allowing the eight-most goals at 3.17 GA/GP.

Kris Letang, PIT vs. NJ ($6,400): The captain deserves a lot of credit, but don't overlook Letang as the Pens' potential MVP this season as he's managed to stay healthy and has produced a point-per-game clip in one of the best seasons of his career. The Pens-Devils matchups have been pretty wild this season and Letang has played a big role in their offensive output with seven assists in seven.

Cale Makar, COL at STL ($5,800): Makar's been a great DFS play all season because he comes at a discount to a lot of elite defensemen even though he offers as much upside – if not more – than most of them. Since losing the season opener against the Blues, the Avs have won every one since and Makar has scored at least a point in all of them.

John Klingberg, DAL at DET ($5,300): I like the matchup for the Stars and Klingberg's quietly put together one of his best offensive campaigns as he'd be on pace for 58 points over an 82-game schedule. After a short lull at the beginning of the month, he's notched a point in six of seven.

Jakob Chychrun, ARI at LA ($5,100): Chychrun offers a lot even when he doesn't score and he faces an easier matchup with the Kings playing back-to-back and starting Jonathan Quick in net. Chychrun didn't manage a point last game, but did fire six shots on goal. In fact, he's produced more games with at least five shots (five) than he has with zero shots (three).

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason Chen
Jason won the 2021 FSWA Hockey Writer of the Year award, and was also a finalist on 2019. He joined RotoWire in 2013. Jason has also written for Yahoo Sports, CBS Sports, The Hockey News, The Hockey Hall of Fame's Legends Magazine, and Centre Ice Magazine.
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